At this time of the year, whatever festival or occasion we celebrate, most of us can recall a vignette of some kind that is part of our personal lore of the season. Some experiences we cherish and remember for a lifetime, others persist in memory, though in truth maybe they are better forgotten.

A Grateful Heart

Though it may seem like a paradox of extremes, grief and gratitude are inextricably linked. Gratitude is an aspect of grief that seems oddly counterintuitive to our experience of loss and sadness. When it comes right down to it, who is ever really grateful for the experience of grief? However we reconcile the effect of death and grief on our heart and spirit, when the final outcome of all our pain and sorrow is deep gratitude for the sacred gift of life, we are transformed both emotionally and spiritually by the death of one we love.

Steady Change

When we stop to consider everything that’s happened since the death of our loved one we realize that our lives have changed – dramatically and irrevocably.

Changing Forward

Grief is an inevitable part of both life and death. Since this website was first launched almost ten years ago, the number of people whose lives have been forever changed by death has increased exponentially. Likely this number will continue to grow. While the fundamental nature of grief remains unchanged, our personal, individual experience of grief has become more layered and more multidimensional because of the frequency, intensity, and alarming regularity with which death occurs in the wounded world in which we live.

Other Love

In grief we are very suggestible. Sometimes we take our emotional cues from the relationship of others to the one we grieve who has died. When “should” takes on larger than life or larger than death proportions, often we set ourselves up for an experience of grief that feels neither personal nor authentic.

The Love of God

In grief there's a kind of fluid balance between fear and love.

Grief at Lent

Lent is a time of spiritual introspection and self-examination that leads to the renewal of our faith and a closer relationship with God.


Comfort is an experience.

Transactional Joy

When we grieve at Christmas, often there is a vast disconnect between superficial merry making and the transactional joy of Christmas. We may be surrounded by friends, family, and those we call family, yet we may be unable or unwilling to enter into the organized good cheer of a seasonal gathering. We ask, “What’s wrong with me?” because we are longing for the presence of our loved one. Transactional joy cannot be experienced in emotional isolation. There are always two parties to any transaction.

No Fear in Love

Love and fear share a kind of polar opposite kinship. When we grieve, most of us experience the kind of fear that has little to do with love. Some of us live with a kind of chronic fear that feels like quiet desperation. Some of us live with low-grade fear that causes us to be constantly on the defensive. Though some of us live through grief with a fair amount of equanimity, unexpectedly we may be waylaid by episodes of fear that threaten to unhinge us completely. Grief, fear, love—strange bedfellows indeed.

Grief Delayed

When tragedy and disaster cause the death of a loved one or destroy our home and property, circumstance usually allows little time to do the emotional and spiritual work of grief. We are in crisis mode: those who die are victims, those who survive are victims. Most are emotionally and physically overwhelmed by the basic tasks necessary to make it through even one more day of upheaval and chaos. Yet despite immeasurable loss, we get up, put one foot in front of the other, and do all we can to sustain life, even as we try to create some order or reason out of what has happened.

Thousand-Person Army

When we take ourselves out of the crosshairs of daily life and gradually begin to focus again on life going on around us, this is a sure sign that we are making progress in grief. We see things differently and appreciate the beauty of nature in a different, more spiritual way. We consider the world and appreciate that we are part of a continuum of sorrow and joy, disappointment and hope, loss and victory, death and life. We better understand the heart and mind of God because we have grieved.
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